Season 1 was broadcasted in end 2019 until early 2020, while my first introduction to this competition show was recently in Oct 2020 through a Youtube clip of Hacken Lee & Charlie Zhou singing a duet. It got me hooked to follow through the whole 12 episodes in season 1. So hooked was I as the show is entertaining & mesmerising! The main base for the competition is to match one senior and one junior singer as a pair to compete against each other. The chosen songs are usually songs from yesteryears but with different arrangements or mixed with other song(s). There are 8 pairs, segregated into 2 main groups.
Although Our Song is a competition, the show makes me admire these artists. Their love for music, whatever the genre, is so profound that the appreciation crosses generations.
The camaraderie between the pairs grow over the shows and accentuates the chemistry when the songs are performed. It is also very telling that the senior singers are extremely hardworking & chases for perfections in their quest when performing. The dedication to their profession is telling, and their frustrations at their less than perfect’s performances during training are part of the show. These senior singers also very willingly share their experiences & knowledge, constantly giving encouragements & tips to the younger ones. The younger singers are equally enthusiastic & absorbs all the teachings while standing on their own feet with their own inputs & suggestions.
My favourite pair is obviously Hacken Lee & Charlie Zhou Shen (aka 勤深深Qing Shen Shen) – this pair is just made in heaven! Their first duet pairing was so cute to begin with, as both singers do not know who will they be pairing with but had to sing the first song – Leslie Cheung’s Chase. Zhou Shen tried to steal some looks at the unknown senior singer (standing on the other side of the stage). Their subsequent duets & songs chosen are all very well arranged & always excite. Zhou Sen showcases his wide range of high vocals, which pairs off very well with Hacken Lee’s smooth lullaby voice. Most of the duets are slow but one fast duet Ye Lang Disco is also catchy, nice & cool! Over the episodes, Zhou Shen becomes less nervous and the mischievous part of him came up more often. Hacken Lee is also very protective of him, even telling him to go out to exercise more (and made him at least on 2 occasions to exercise with him!) when Zhou Shen said he is not very fond of exercise and he usually just lies at home doing nothing. Hacken Lee nearer to the end of the show, called Zhou Shen a partner, rather than a junior singer. I think that speaks volume of how Hacken Lee sees Zhou Shen.
Another favourite pair is Na Zhan – Na Ying & Sean Xiao Zhan. Angela Zhang came onboard for a couple of episodes to pair up with Sean Xiao. Sean Xiao has a very boyband-like voice and he controls them well with each pairing. However, I am biased as I am a fan of Sean Xiao – such pretty face, so gentlemanly (he always land a hand to his singing partner), so polite! I thought he has had it tough in the last couple of years as he has had many setbacks in his careers, many of which is not his fault. The entertainment industry can be fickle. Over the show, he has also shown more confidence in his singing style.
Fei Yuching announced his retirement earlier, and has been paired with Timmy Xu in the earlier episodes and then with Ayunga in later episodes. Frankly, both younger singers mostly conceded & blended in with Fei Yuching’s style, which is more ballad. As a result, both were unable to showcase their full range of capabilities and try new arrangements. A real pity. Timmy Xu has a certain edginess in him, which came up a little in one of the other duets he did with Zhou Shen. Ayunga’s case was very unfortunate. I would love him to be paired with Emil Chau, but he got rejected! His vocal range is deep as he trains & performs in musicals. I have not seen western-style musicals by Chinese singers before. He performs well in most of the arrangements, but I do not think that his capabilities are stretched.
Most importantly, Ayunga is soooo handsome! His deep voice, I can imagine the Mongol style singing, which can be heard from one ger to another ger a mile away!
I have been a fan of Emil Chau as his songs are classics and great to begin with. I was shocked when he did not pick Ayunga, but instead chose Li Yiqiao. Their collaboration was so-so, as Yiqiao’s vocal needed more improvements. Hence, Emil Chau plays more of the role of a mentor to Yiqiao. Nothing extraordinary, just the good old reminiscing songs from Emil Chau.
Although having listened to some of Richie Ren’s songs previously, I never thought of him as a capable singer. His slightly coarse & rock-style voice is moderate, but in the show he came across as a friendly big-brother especially to Liu Yuning, the younger singer. The collaborations were also so-so, there were a few interesting arrangements but nothing shines out of ordinary. I love the fact that Liu Yuning cooked up some food for Richie Ren! A keeper.
Luo Qi – Xiao Gui – this is a surprise pair. At first, Xiao Gui came across as quite arrogant (youngest singer at barely 22) as he was quite adamant & aggressive in wanting a female pairing. But I think it is just the new generation who is passionate in pursuing his musical talent as he did explain his reasons accordingly. Over the episodes, I actually like his character which is very mischievous! As I always call my nephew – naughty boy and pull his ears, that is exactly what I wanted to do to Xiao Gui too! 😀
I also looked up a bit more on Luo Qi, whose life has not been too kind to her. She debuted successfully at a very young age in China’s rock scene, but lost one of her eyesight in a violent brawl at a club when she was barely 18. She slipped into depression & drugs in her 20s, got caught and sent for rehabilitation. She migrated to Germany, and in the past decade has decided to sing again in some of the shows. When Zhou Shen & Hacken Lee sang Chase, she was so moved that she teared up a few times. It is also quite telling that she was nervous in many occasions before performing. I was actually quite worried whether she can take the pressure. But I thought she is so brave to try something new as she did a rap song with Xiao Gui, and he was so supportive in making sure she managed it through the performance. I thought that was the sweetest gesture a young singer could show a battered & worn singer.
For a more senior singer to try out new musical styles is never easy. And kudos to the seniors who provided a little room for the juniors to play within their comfort zone.
As time goes by, the newer generations may like different musical styles. This show provides a platform and avenue for collaborations crossing at least 3 generations to try out different musical arrangements & ensembles. Frankly, I love the idea that they brought in audiences born in different decades, encouraging the pairs to think through how to find the balancing act to perform a song that is well-loved by all generations.
Link to a simple arrangement on piano sheet for 天下有情人 is also in this post.
From the show, there are so many talents in the industry. While watching this show, my heart swells with pride that these talents would perform so well. And my wishes for each and every one of them is for them to continue having success & happiness in their own path.
Our Song Season 1 rocks you to the moon and back! Catch it in its entirety, and not just the songs. The banters & interactions amongst the contestants & pairs are reminders that they are also just ordinary persons just like all of us, and never fail to bring a smile to me. For those unable to understand Mandarin, check the subtitles. 😀
Update 18 Sept 2021 : If you love this reality show, you will also appreciate another gem – Call Me By Fire
Update 11 Dec 2021 : Our Song S3’s review
6 thoughts on “Our Song (2019) 我们的歌 S1 Review – Of Favourite Pairings and Pure Love of Music”
Great to hear that you really like Ayunga. His vocal is great and haunting. Very seldom we get to see mainstream Chinese singers who are classically trained and performed in theatre. His duet with Zheng Yun Long is also great performances, effectively the Dragons amidst the Clouds.
Personally, I believe he is doing well because of his looks. The diversity in his performance will help him to gain mainstream fans. May the future brings him loads of successes.
Before July 2020, or the time of Covid, I knew very very little about any singers from mainland China, not one actually. Serendipitously, due to the shutdown, I came across a video with a cover of Hacken and someone else (I now know that it was Zhou Shen). My curiosity piqued and wanting to improve my Mandarin (I do speak fluent Cantonese), I clicked, got hooked, and watched all 13 episodes of My Songs Season 1. Initially, Hacken and Zhou Shen’s team was my preferred pair, largely due to Hacken’s selection of Cantonese songs, but about midway through, while watching Fei Yu Ching and Ayanga sang “The Bird” song, I fell in love with Ayanga’s voice and the song. I was mesmerized by A’s ability to bring out the soul of the song through his harmonizing, singing, and voice. It was like my ears were opened for the first time and then my eyes soon followed and noticed Ayanga’s good looks. Everyone on the show started to recede to the background afterwards, and that phenomena hasn’t change for me, especially after I came across Ayanga in the show “Super Vocals”, and later coming across Ayanga, the serious musical actor, the beautiful model, the Mongolian folk singer and dancer, the self taught piano player and composer, the foreign student who learned to speak, read, and write Chinese at age 20, the orphan who held onto his dreams, the hardworking artist with an unwavering faith, the man with humility and grace…the list can go on but I will stop here.
Do other singers, performers, actors, dancers, musicians, creatives have talent and soul? A resounding yes, but whenever Ayanga appears on stage, everyone starts to recede…crazy.
Thank you for your comments. Apologies it took a while as the comment was sitting in my spam box, and i haven’t had time to clear them until recently.
I finished the show a few weeks ago but want to add a final conclusion.
Na Yang & Xiao Zhan: They were a great team and very well matched. My favorite was the Abba cover song bc it was just fun and they sparkled. I didn’t notice how much stage NY gave to XZ before Angela Chang showed up. I really loved her but she was too overwhelming for him. A few tones from her and I melted so much that I hardly noticed him anymore. He did great and I think with her he learned a lot more vocally but he needs someone more complimenting his “boygroupish” voice.
Fei Yu-Ching: Until he was matched with Ayanga I thought he was overwhelming Timmy Xu. But it wasn’t like that. He was very good for AYG who tended to exaggerate with Tanya Chua. For a Musical singer -for me- he literal killed the musical songs he had because they lost the original lightness. And his english pronounciation wasn’t good. It felt like he didn’t understood a word he sang. His voice is awesome and well trained but he tends to boast if he is let free. TC left him too much freedom while FYC seemed to be more a guide for him, even when they never had a good chemitry. In my opinion it did AYG good.
FYC’s surely has a great ballad voice that made me swoon and he is really old school. His type of singing and body language remembered me a lot to Karel Gott, a Czech singer, even when he was more into pop.
Hacken Lee & Zhou Chen: Well, what can I say that wasn’t said already. I became a ZC fan and bought all of his songs available on YouTube (not a fan of cheapskate Streaming who almost gives nothing to the artists). His voice is just great. I love high male voices. Yeah, he sounds female but only when you not hear a real high female one in contrast. I prefer male voices. And even his italian sounds pretty decent and his english very good, what means he did a lot work to grasp the right tone. Or he is just a very talented natural, but I don’t think so. The easier it looks the harder the person worked beforehand. And Hacken showed an incredible diversity, I never thought he had. This matching did him as much good. Great great team!
I really liked Richie Ren too and Emil Chau. Richie Ren did good with his pupil but they often forgot the voters. I think he would have matched well with the rapper who knew how to get them in. I loved Emil and in my opinion he was the soul of the first season. But his match was a true mismatch. He got the highest ratings when she was the least noticable. Yesterday and his solo parting song were just great. But he never showed that he was any kind of dissatisfied and that was great.
Another thing I noticed was, that especially the older birthyears were the most rabid fans. While the younger audience often praised a performance or gave a decent reason why they voted for someone. The olders voted bc they were a fan even though the performance were rather meh. Without them EC and FYC wouldn’t have made it into the finals.
I started the 2nd season but dropped after not one episode. That was too much like the shows I know and dislike. The songs were good but I don’t need to watch the show for them since SMG has them in their YT-channel.
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QSS pairing is definitely the best. Season 2 is out a while ago. Very disappointing in the first couple of episodes which was why I stopped. Apparently later episodes are better, will have to find time to see (and review).
I‘m currently watching this while sewing (currently at EP9) Normally I don’t watch casting shows since they are between ridiculing or embarrassingly praising the contestants but this concept is so different and I love the banter of the team. Emil‘s age became the running gag.
At first I thought the matching was staged since with the first teams found each other so easily but the second blew me away. The second elders were a great team there too.
Ayunga would have being perfect with Emil but he prefered to be a shifu role. I felt sorry for him since he looks uncomfortable with his second teacher. Hopefully they will match better at stage.
Of course my favorite is Hacken and his duckling. QSS‘s Sopran is just something to awwwwww about. When the first beats of Carmen started I was thinking, who will do the higher parts and then…of, course HE does. They both are such a great team.